Freshwater Boys is a collection of eleven short stories set in and around the Great Lakes of Michigan. The opening narratives feature adolescent or pre-adolescent boys struggling with their conceptions of manhood. They are sizing themselves up against masculine ideals, and filled with doubt and confusion regarding their own paths.
The landscapes and lakescapes serve as recurring characters in the book. The boys and men wander forests--sometimes finding tranquility, sometimes finding tragedy. They climb and descend dunes. And often, they encounter the Big Lake: Lake Michigan. The idea of a Third Coast figures prominently in the book, the lake and its horizon serving as a kind of world's end, where things pass away or come to life. (edited by author)
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In "Deer Run"--a typically heart-stopping narrative in Adam Schuitema's electrifying first collection of eleven stories, Freshwater Boys--four deer break free "from the narrow confines of Plaster Creek, an urban waterway running through Grand Rapids that's as filthy as it sounds," and make a run for freedom. They encounter golf courses, grave yards and highway traffic with catastrophic results. "They knew what they were doing, even if they were influenced by The Grays, which may make animals crazy from a sky full of clouds the way some go crazy from a full moon."
The collision here between nature and civilization is typical of Freshwater Boys, so named for its setting on Lake Michigan, often cited for its ocean-like expansiveness. Neither force prevails, whether the contest engages scorned Uncle Lucien building a fragile lakefront beach in "Sand Thieves," or Evan Rumishek fighting dangerous snow and ice when he goes for a run in "The Lake Effect," or seven-year-old Toby Kamp disappearing in the woods in "Camouflage Fall." But the force of the impact often shakes the page.
Yet the moods the author evokes can be exquisite as well. As their young protagonists search to define their masculinity in a world that values its traditional forms less and less, these stories play off, and gain strength from, one another like an exhibit of masterly paintings radiating colors rarely seen before. (added by author)About the Author:
Adam Schuitema's stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Glimmer Train, North American Review, TriQuarterly, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, The Carolina Quarterly, and The Florida Review. He is an assistant professor at Kendall College, where he teaches creative writing, as well as rhetoric and literature courses.
Adam Schuitema is the author of the short-story collection Freshwater Boys, published by Delphinium Books and distributed by HarperCollins. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous magazines, including Glimmer Train, North American Review, TriQuarterly, Black Warrior Review, and Crazyhorse. Adam earned his MFA and Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. He is an assistant professor of English at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he lives with his wife and daughter. (edited by author)
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